There’s not very much left of the Dominican Monastery and even what is left is not that easy to find. From outside you will see two of the main walls, one at St. Catherine’s passage and another one at Vene. The latter one is hardly visible as the space in front of it is used as a parking lot. This monastery was founded in 1246, but dissolved in 1546 during the iconoclasm during the reformation. The ruins remained rather untouched until 1951 when the monastery was partly restored to house a museum. This museum has stone sculptures, stone carvings and old tombstones from several centuries of Tallinn's history. The garden inside is perhaps one of the most quiet places in the old town.
To get inside the monastery, you'll have to pay a small fee. Often, there is also an art exhibition in the entry hall. During winter time, the monastery gardens are closed but the art exhibitions are open for free. Parts of the former Dominican Monastery can also be seen in the Ichthus Atelier (entry by donation through Müürivahe on the rear side).
The Cloister (or Claustrum) of the Dominican Monastery gives visitors the opportunity to visit the living quarters of the monks, including a refectory, cellar and a library collection of various theological books in the German language. There is an 'energy pillar' in the cellar, a supposed source of spiritual health. The cellar also has great acoustics. The old lady at the entrance advised me to sing down there as it can be heard throughout the building. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I was the only visitor at the time so I sang for her! Admission is free with the Tallinn Card. Otherwise there is a small entrance fee.
The monastery is one of the oldest buildings within the city and is Gothic in design. It was founded in 1246. The cloisters were rebuilt many times, the most recent being in the 16th century. Within the cloisters there are numerous stone carvings on display. They date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.
It is worth a visit just to sit and enjoy the peaceful garden if you are worn out from a long day of sightseeing as we were. There are just a couple of steps to climb but by this point even they were difficult for us to climb.
Open daily from 9.30am to 6pm from May 15 - September 24
Cost : 45 EEK
Free with Tallinn card